Kunstsammlung NRW
Installationsansicht der Ausstellung "Nach Ägypten! Die Reisen von Max Slevogt und Paul Klee", mit: Paul Klee, "Legende vom Nil", 1937, Foto: Arnika Fürgut/Kunstsammlung
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Out of the Box: The Arrival at the K20 of Paul Klee's "Legend of the Nile"

As museum visitors doubtless suspect, when extraordinary – and exceptionally valuable – works of art travel, it generally involves special measures and logistics – one reason why a 3Sat television team followed Klee's "Legend of the Nile" of 1937 from the Kunstmuseum in Bern all the way to Düsseldorf.

There, the painting will be on view beginning on September 6th in the exhibition "To Egypt! The Travels of Max Slevogt and Paul Klee" at the K20 am Grabbeplatz. For #32, Arnika Fürgut was present at the work's arrival – and she attentively observed everything that transpired until the painting found its ultimate placement in the exhibition.

Several days before Klee's "Legend of the Nile" found its place in the Klee Halle of the K20, the transport crate, fashioned especially for the painting, arrived in the exhibition gallery – where it needed to rest for 24 hours before the cautiously opened. During this time period, the crate's custom design allowed it to approximate climatic conditions within its new environment: fluctuating temperature and atmospheric humidity were thereby attenuated, protecting the work from damage.

Every important art transport must be accompanied by a courier, must be supervised, and documented – duties assumed for the most part by a staff member of the lending museum or that of the receiving institution. In the case of Klee's "Legend of the Nile," Nathalie Bäschlin, head of conservation and restoration at the Kunstmuseum in Bern, traveled with the work to Düsseldorf. On location, she and Nina Quabeck, a conservator from the Kunstsammlung, jointly assessed the work's condition, a process involving the direct recording and investigation of potential damages or changes that might occur during transport – with Klee's painting, fortunately, nothing of concern was discovered.

Accompanying the tense journey of the work from the depot of the Kunstmuseum in Bern all the way to the "Egypt" exhibition in Düsseldorf was a television team composed of members from the two 3Sat science programs "Nano" and "Einstein." The program is scheduled for broadcast in late September – including, of course, the final moments of the painting's arrival, when it was finally hung in its intended spot within the exhibition.


The exhibition "To Egypt! The Travels of Max Slevogt and Paul Klee" at the K20 Grabbeplatz will open on September 5 at 7 PM, and will run from September 6, 2014 until January 4, 2015 – Paul Klee's much-traveled work will of course be on display on one of the blue walls of the exhibition gallery, and can be viewed there in person.



Kunstmuseum Bern

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